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(113 Posts)
BGB31 Thu 24-Sep-20 09:55:17

Briefly....GS (9) has told me he is soon to be allowed to walk to school on his own. About a 25 min walk crossing several roads. He has a mobile phone - old one of Mums.
I think he’s much to young for this and am worrying all the time. BUT don’t know whether to mention to his mum (my DD). Our relationship can be tense. Also I only have DGS side of the story (although it did sound as if they’d talked about it, so don’t think it’s completely made up!).

Should I keep quiet? She’s a good mum and will have thought about pitfalls but as I said, I think he’s too young.

Grandmabatty Thu 24-Sep-20 10:02:32

Keep quiet. This is not your business and yes, it is interfering. You have no idea of what plans your dd has put in place and you only have one side. If your relationship with dd is tense, then interfering will make it worse.

MrsRochester Thu 24-Sep-20 10:06:32

Would agree. You’ve said she’s a good mum, her decision.
She loves him, after all (more than you do, sorry 😊).

Namsnanny Thu 24-Sep-20 10:09:04

It's always a difficult time when the youngsters go out on their own for the first time, so I sympathise.

For my money you have already mentioned your relationship with your daughter can be tense, so I would tread very very gently if I were in your shoes smile

It is up to her and his father to judge what they think their son is capable of.

If you really think it wont upset them, find out more details. Is he walking on his own, for example?

For what it's worth I would feel the same way as you do!!

Ashcombe Thu 24-Sep-20 10:12:52

I guess it depends on the types of roads your DGS has to cross. Presumably, he has walked the route many times with your DD so he will know the safest place to cross each one. Is he allowed to go to local shops unaccompanied?

My DGS is 10 now but since he was nine he has been allowed to make his own way to a play area which entailed crossing a busy road. He is sensible and naturally cautious so I guess I’m saying it depends on the maturity of the child more than his chronological age.

My advice would be to speak to your DD in a positive way about how impressed you are that DGS is being trusted to take care of himself. Good luck!

NotSpaghetti Thu 24-Sep-20 10:12:52

Mmmn. I know it seems like a different world, and of course there's more traffic but I think you'd be hard pushed to find many of the 60years plus generation who weren't walking to school at 9.
No doubt she'll do a few trial runs with him first.

jaylucy Thu 24-Sep-20 10:17:50

You don't know if he will be walking on his own or with friends and you don't know whether it will be every day.
It's his parents choice and they obviously think that he is capable and sensible enough to be able to cope.
Keep out of it!

Callistemon Thu 24-Sep-20 10:25:51

Is he the only child walking in that direction? Can he meet with friends and walk with them?

Where we live, primary children are supposed to be taken to the school gate and are not allowed out of school in the afternoon unless a parent or designated person is there to meet them, then the teacher lets them out even up to and including Y6.

Then, suddenly, at age 11, they have to walk to the bus stop, catch the service bus and go to senior school on their own.

BGB31 Thu 24-Sep-20 10:26:35

Thanks everyone. Yes, it’s not my business really. (And @MrsRochester you are absolutely right about DD loving him more than I do! 😊).
Glad I post here, I appreciate the direct responses.

Callistemon Thu 24-Sep-20 10:31:36

Before my DGD started at senior school I found I was waking in the night, worrying about her journey there, then I told myself to get a grip!
Mind you, when I got up this morning it was tipping it down with rain and my first thought was about her standing at the bus stop getting soaked before a day in school.

We never stop worrying smile

NotSpaghetti Thu 24-Sep-20 10:38:30

callistemon, I think it's usual and reasonable to not let primary/junior children out of school at lunchtime but I'm amazed there's a rule that children are to be taken to the school gate.
Where in the country are you? Is the school somewhere very odd or with no footpaths?
Why would they so disempower the older children like this?

Callistemon Thu 24-Sep-20 10:48:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Callistemon Thu 24-Sep-20 10:49:18

Is the school somewhere very odd
Um, never thought about it.

Grandmabatty Thu 24-Sep-20 11:07:36

I've just reread my reply and I must have been having a toothache or something as it was a bit brusque and brutal! I apologise if it sounded that way, although you are very gracious. 😊. Of course you will worry but I agree with others who said, if you must raise it with dd, be positive about how grown up he is.

TerriBull Thu 24-Sep-20 11:11:49

I was so much more cautious with my children than my parents were with us. Your worries are understandable, but I imagine his mother would have done plenty of trial runs and primed him accordingly. As others have said, we all managed, 60 or so years ago, albeit with less traffic. I often did a 30 minute walk to and from my school aged 5 with my 7 year old brother and friend up the road aged 6. Previous generations were far more independent from an early age, which in many ways stood us in good stead for the future. I believe children in Germany, Holland and possibly other countries are encouraged to go to and from school from an early age independently.

Jane10 Thu 24-Sep-20 11:16:30

My first time coming home on the bus was with my younger sister. I was aged about 9. When we got to the bus stop our grandparents had hidden round the corner to see we'd made it that far. Then they gave us a lift home which was a bit disappointing as we'd looked forward to the bus journey.
Could you do something similar? Maybe just happen to be round the corner at some spot on his walk home?

Blinko Thu 24-Sep-20 11:19:03

Our DSs were walking to school from when they were seven. They weren't main roads though, and they walked with others.

midgey Thu 24-Sep-20 11:19:50

Ooh Jane I think that really would cause ructions! I would have been livid if either sets of grandparents had done that!

Callistemon Thu 24-Sep-20 11:20:21

And I'm left wondering if we live somewhere odd hmm

I thought the advice was that primary schools should all do that now.
Some children will be 'looked after children' and it essential that a designated person is sent to pick up the child.

twinnytwin Thu 24-Sep-20 11:21:15

Up to Y6 the children in my DGDs school are expected to be delivered and collected. Now my Y6 and Y5 DGDs (just 11 and 9) walk to and from school (about 3 minutes and only one main(ish) road to cross on their own. I've noticed a definite confidence and maturity growth at being allowed to do this from both of them. Eldest always double checks that I will be home at 3.15pm. It's all part of growing up (and a bonus as I can stay in my dressing gown until they leave in the morning).

Grandmafrench Thu 24-Sep-20 11:28:48

There’s nothing like being on a Forum to give you a complex, eh, Callistemon 😂
I read your post and thought how lovely, and there’s a cut-off point/advisory age so that parents and kids know what’s required.

But yes, in these crazy times and with all the worries that go with that for small children, you probably do live ‘somewhere odd’. Lucky old you!

felice Thu 24-Sep-20 11:32:20

Here Primary children are delivered and collected by designated adults, there are 5 plus family for DGS, 2 friends of mine and 3 of DDs and SIL. A lot of the schools here cover from 2.5 yrs to 18 with the different schools in adjoining buildings. DGS went to Maternal 2.5 and is now in Primary in the same school.

The stricter rules came about after the child kidnaps and murders in the 90s.

Kamiso Thu 24-Sep-20 11:40:40

The headmistress of GSs school actively encouraged the children to walk to and from school in their last year at junior school. She even had a bike shed put up.

Interestingly they organised themselves in to groups who could walk together from a geographical point of view. GS also got the others to follow what I had been doing with him at a slightly lopsided crossroad junction. Some drivers slalomed across at great speed. Walking into the side road a few yards which would give the speeders time to see you and stop so was safer than crossing the wider part of the road entrance. They obviously observe and understand very much more than we sometimes give them credit for.

Granarchist Thu 24-Sep-20 11:40:51

A friend's grandchildren living in Zurich walk to school alone from the age of 4! Noone bats an eyelid. Usually they team up with other children, but not always. It is considered perfectly normal both in cities and villages. My OH went to school from age 5 alone and it meant changing buses twice on the way. What frightens me is children being shielded all the time at primary school and then being expected to be able to cope with the greater freedom of secondary school overnight. If children are never exposed to any risk how will they learn to deal with them as they get older?

Lexisgranny Thu 24-Sep-20 11:44:33

When my children were small there was a short footpath almost opposite our house which came out by the school gate. All the children in the road, of varying ages, but under 11 used to walk to school together. The path had a slight bend in it so you couldn’t see to the end, so I used to jump in the car when they were out of sight and drive round to ensure they did reach school safely. I did the same thing in reverse in the afternoon The other mothers thought I was a bit odd.